[Talk-us] "highway" tags in the US

am12 at bolis.com am12 at bolis.com
Tue Mar 4 00:39:50 GMT 2008

>> For instance, OR217 and US26 west of Portland are both divided,
>> multi-lane, limited access highways.  Despite not being interstates,
>> they *ARE* motorways.
> Hmm, are you sure?  maybe they just look like motorways; there are a lot
> of almost-motorway roads

Hmm.  I'm confused by that.  I don't quite understand what it would mean
for something to just look like a motorway but not be one.

As far as I can tell, this is an open community project, and terms have to
be defined by the group to be useful.  There is no US Department of
Transportation statement declaring what kind of road qualifies as a
"motorway", nor what kind doesn't.  So we need to muddle through it

There are an awful lot of people in the US who recognize what a freeway
is, regardless of whether they know which bureaucrat signs the check for
the little bumpy dots between the lanes.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we
should call it a duck.  If it is high-speed multi-lane restricted access
way with cloverleaf entrances, we should call it a motorway.  Regardless
of whether it is part of the US Interstate Highway system or not.

I hope I don't sound confrontational.  Are we saying the same thing?  I've
definitely been pondering this myself as to how to classify or judge these
tags.  Good discussion.

- Alan

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